I’ve always had the tendency to be my own worst enemy. Especially when it comes to my body.

I guess I keep thinking that somehow I can go back to the days when I recover from things quickly and resume my daily life as usual.

But that isn’t always the case. There is no usual anymore. My body is older. It’s tired from injuries and the fact that I push it till I drop.

I was doing well yesterday. I didn’t even have to wear the ankle brace. I wasn’t limping. My sciatic nerve was behaving itself fairly well.

I joined my two lovely daughters for lunch and thoroughly enjoyed myself.

Their dad is in the midst of a problem that is very worrisome to them, they explained to me. I could see the concern on their faces.

My older daughter had already emailed a few days ago that she would probably be free to help me with the backsplash on Monday unless something changed on her schedule.

So what do I do?

I come home, feeling good because I was fairly pain free. And worried about my daughters because they’re upset about their dad’s current predicament.

I walk into the kitchen and look at that backsplash and thought: They’re so concerned about their dad. Maybe I can do that backsplash after all and she won’t have to come over Monday.

If I could do it myself, that would take one more thing off her schedule. And that thought felt so good that I told myself I was fine. I could pull this off.

So up I go till I’m sitting on the edge of the counter. I put my feet in the sink. And I start to work on that troublesome corner.

I don’t think I was approaching it quite right. But it was the only way I could think to get the peel and stick tiles to match up.

I ended up getting one up on the wall, albeit a little crooked, and tore the other one. I had to twist myself into a pretzel of sorts to see underneath the cabinets above in order to work below.

And one peel and stick tile tore so badly I had to toss it. Then I had something else to worry about. Would there be enough tiles to do the job? Because I just guessed when I ordered them.

I hope she still will have enough left to do the whole backsplash. It was just the two I used and she very well might have to remove the one that’s adhered to the wall. I think that still leaves 18.

When I eased myself down to the floor in order to stand up I realized I had contorted myself into terrible pain. Stupid, stupid, stupid, I said to myself. I never seem to learn.

I sat down and got online to see if I could order more of the peel and stick tiles in case there now weren’t enough. They’re out of stock.

Heavens, so many things right now are out of stock. You can’t find disinfectant wipes anywhere. They’re absent from the stores. People are in panic mode due to the coronavirus.

Anyway I took a muscle relaxer, which I don’t really think does a thing for the sciatic nerve. My ankle was throbbing. I could barely walk. Again. By the end of the day I noticed my lower right leg and ankle were pretty swollen.

I just want to be independent, take care of myself, not cause them any worry. And I manage to make things worse for all of us.

I keep looking down at the water bowl for the pet babies and thinking: I really want to refresh their water. But how on earth am I going to get down there to get the bowl?

I look at the sunshine outside and think how much I want to be out in it. But the outdoor furniture is still in the middle of the patio so even if I got out there I’d have to remove the things piled on the chairs in order to sit down.

There’s not a chance I’m going to limp out to the car and go anywhere.

So here Charlie and I am together in my recliner. Ivy is laying next to me on the table staring at the shadows on the window.

Charlie’s cough is getting worse and I have to help him climb the steps in the bedroom. He needs me to be physically able to help him.

I wanted to change the sheets and clean this place. All week I’ve been thinking I really need to clean the apartment. Now I’ll be lucky to get to the bathroom and back.

Why on earth do I do this to myself? Why can’t I accept limitations?

Do you do this to yourself?

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29 Comments

  1. I am sorry you are in pain, Brenda. I used to get myself into such stress years ago, particularly when my children were younger. I would try to get so much stuff done when they were napping, for instance, and then they would wake up refreshed and I would be tired and cranky. Or, I would work so hard on a project around the house hoping to impress my first husband or my mother, and they would find something else to crab about so there was no pleasing them. Over time, I had to learn to stop caring about what certain people thought. My big effort now is learning to not care so much about what I think and want! I can be just as hard or harder on myself than my first husband and my mom, almost as if I have stepped in and taken their place with criticism. I am working on not being so concerned about outcomes. I can work hard of something and have a goal in mind, but then the work is done and the outcome isn’t what I expected. I then feel upset. I am working on finding my reward in my efforts toward the goal, and not in the achievement of the goal itself. It’s pretty challenging of course, but it is something that I have to do for my sanity. There are times that no matter what our efforts have been, things happen to prevent the goal we had in mind — someone else does something that interferes, or materials aren’t as good as we wanted, or there isn’t enough time, or whatever. What I try to do when things get messed up is to find something to laugh about, because it really does help relieve the physical tension. When things don’t go as we want, my husband and I will look at each other and say, “Oh well!” in a voice that mimics one of our sisters-in-law. She meddles in other people’s activities, makes a mess of things, and then says, “Oh well!” in a silly little voice as if to dismiss her from any involvement, and then goes her merry way. So, we do that silly little voice of hers as a way to make each other laugh and step back from the problem for a bit. So, maybe you could find something to laugh about today, Brenda, and try to step back from the issues. Take care.

  2. When I can’t bend down to pick up the water bowl, I fill up a small pitcher and pour it gently into the dish.
    Of course, you can’t do this day after day because the bowl should be cleaned daily, but once in a while it’s okay.

  3. I think folks have gone quite nutso about this hand sanitizer thing. For goodness sake use some hand soap and water and wash your hands. Most public restrooms provide it and soap and water are more effective against bugs anyway. So you can’t wash your hands when you are in the car or store, just don’t touch your face, nose and eyes ’til you can wash your hands. This hand sanitizer mania, I think, has been created by the media and the companies that manufacture and sell it are taking advantage of that. Yes, the virus can be serious and even lethal, but let’s be sensible. Eat well, get enough sleep, hydrate yourself sufficiently and probably stay out of crowds. I guess if you’re really worried when you’re out and about you could wear a mask. But paying an outlandish price and hoarding hand sanitizer borders on hysteria to me. End of rant!

    Brenda, I’m sorry you are in pain from trying to do your backsplash but give yourself credit for stopping and not making things worse. Don’t fault yourself for wanting to save your daughter the trouble of doing the job. Just realize that it really is okay for you to accept her help when she can give it. I know she would rather help you when she can than to have you injure yourself. Don’t be too hard on yourself; we all do things we should know better than to attempt, especially as we get older. It’s hard to remember sometimes that we aren’t as young and fit as we used to be. Our desire to be able to accomplish things just doesn’t match our capability as we age. Anyway, still sending healing energy your way. Baby your ankle and back and be kind to yourself, above all. Remember, your intentions were good in this instance, you just forgot to put your well-being first.

  4. Just a quick input on lack of hand sanitizing stuff. Put a small bottle of alcohol in the car along with an old wash cloth. I dampen a small spot on the cloth, clean my hands and drive off. Also, the % of alcohol in the .99 store and drug stores is different , with Walgreen’s and Walmart being stronger than the .99 store. But either % will help now.
    A word to the wise….”to thine own self be true!”…take care of yourself so that you can continue to care for others ( & NOT become a burden to others…).

  5. Goodness Brenda, do yourself a favor, and just pour needed water from a measuring cup, from a standing position, into the pet bowls…they won’t die from such. Most animals seem fine drinking out of muddy pools outdoors…and we all must remember the nasty stuff they eat or chew on, given a chance!! The babies will be fine until you feel better!!
    As to the virus, the best advice we have heard yet, we came across today from a doctor who is on youtube:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=krdK2BDgpfU People, we must take more of our own care these days…once we are old enough to be on medicare, no one cares a fig really, as to how well you are…so do what you can for yourselves. We are chewing more of our Xylitol gum these days…

  6. Sorry about your predicament Brenda. I’ve been that way too. I’m almost 73 and have learned my limitations and learned to rest in between doing things.. and not overdo it.. as then I really pay the price. I wish you had a good chiropractor to go to as he could really help your sciatica.. but only a really good one. I don’t know how soft your recliner is or how much lumbar support there is, but with sciatic problems, I learned years ago that I can’t sit in soft chairs at all.. not a sofa or recliner especially. If I go anywhere that only has a couch or soft chairs, I sit on one of their dining table hard chairs. My own chair at home is one of those zero gravity Swedish chairs that is very firm and has good lumbar support. With sciatica you HAVE to have really good lumbar support. If I sit on a recliner for more than an hour, I hurt everywhere, same with a soft couch. So your recliner may be contributing to the problem! Try sitting only on a hard chair for a few weeks.. I know it’s hard to do but you may see a healing going on in your low back. I’ve sometimes had to do that for months at a time! Give yourself some time to rest.. the counter and backsplash will be there in a month or so so let it wait until you are better! Good luck! Marilyn

  7. When our children where little we sacrificed and took care of their every need. You are lucky your daughters live close by. We live on the east coast and our daughter and her family live on the west coast. Hopefully my son in law will get orders to come back to the east coast this summer. My husband and I live an hour from my Dad and two hours away from my Aunt, who are my closest relatives. I only drive locally and always worry that I will get into a situation where I will be stuck needing help. My husband wants to retire to Florida, I want to retire within walking distance to our daughter and grandsons who are 8 and 5. My Dad and Aunt are reluctant to move, and I understand that. So we are waiting for all the stars to align before we do anything. I will have to be content will visiting my grandsons, who are 13 hours away, flying, door to door, for now. I worry about everything,health, cleaning out my house and when the time comes, my Aunts and Dads. I want to be near my daughter when I am older and will need help. I want to be in my grandsons life everyday. They get so much by being around their grandparents. It is not a burden it is a privilege to help our family members. Rest, relax, accept help as you are giving so much to your daughters and grandchildren. Everyone stay well.

  8. Brenda, I think it is something we all do, we want to feel independant, and not rely on anyone. In my case, I do not live near family and sometimes when my husband is out of town I get a wild idea, sometimes they work out and sometimes I am lucky I do not get killed. When we moved in this house I decided to move all of the furniture, etc into the house that I could and some that I couldn’t. I moved a queen mattress from the garage to the 2nd floor with no problem, the king sized one pinned me to the wall on the staircase in the garage. I was stuck for a few minutes and a little scared but I did regroup and get it in the house.

    Anyway, my point is that your daughters will help you, if they do not have time they will let you know. As much as they worry about their dad I am sure they worry more for you.

    Take it easy on yourself, who cares if the house is messy. Order food online and have it delivered, or perhaps your grandson could bring your groceries, ask your neighbor friend if she could pick up a few items when she shops.

    As for disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer, you do not need it. Watch your wands, don’t touch your face.

    Be careful and stay safe.

  9. Brenda, Have you tried chiropractic care? My chiropractor is a genius at fixing my periodically painful foot. the orthopedic dr told me to put my boot back on, which strains the opposite knee. The chiropractor worked on it three visits and the pain was gone.

  10. I do hope you are feeling better soon Brenda. I do understand how you want to get on and do things yourself. I am the same.
    Last Saturday I was carrying my cat upstairs from the basement because I wanted him to be in the sun as he loves that. (He is well able to get up the stairs himself but he doesn’t want to leave his heated bed) I had just reached the top step, put Dexter down and I really don’t know what happened but I fell backwards, tried to grab the hand rail but couldn’t hold on slid to the bottom of the stairs and cracked my head on the tiles! My husband came running and told me to not get up too quickly but all I could think about was doing what I usually do on a Saturday, so he helped me up and although he insisted I sit down I carried on because I wanted to. Later I had a large bump come up on my head at the back, a long scratch on my arm and a sore back. For some reason I felt okay so I did carry on, the bump has gone down and my sore back is getting better. My brother in law calls me ‘the rubber man’ I honestly don’t know why I didn’t hurt more.

  11. Brenda you are not alone in the “being your own worst enemy” club, I think to a certain degree there are a lot of us out there. Maybe by admitting this is an unhealthy trait for you could be the first step to changing your mindset? At this stage of my life before tackling any project I try to remind myself that “if I’m going to dance I will definitely have to pay the fiddler”. I admit I don’t always take my own advice but when I slip up I have a long talk with myself, vowing to do better next time. If it takes me twice as long to do things as it used to or if I have to ask for/pay someone else to do it for me so be it. While I can, I will, when I can’t I won’t, but I’ll be glad that I did when I could. By far some of the best advice I ever received!

    So Brenda don’t be so hard on yourself, take however much time as it takes for your body to get back to normal and promise yourself you will use better judgment in the future.

  12. No, I don’t overdo it. I am very leery of over-working my damaged heart, so I am VERY careful. I do my outdoor chores in the summer and winter, walk a lot and then there are the occasional workouts I get when I am shoving furniture around inside the house, as well as going up and down the basement stairs (11 of them and steep) to do the laundry a couple times a month. Fear of being hospitalized because I had a heart attack or triggered bad palpitations is a mighty compelling reason to control myself from overdoing, because in my mind’s eye I still see myself as 18 and strong as a bull with boundless energy. Ha! I haven’t gone to the supermarket yet today, I’m waiting for it to warm up a bit more outside before I do the half mile walk there, but on Monday I picked up a large container of disinfecting wipes, some Wet Ones individuals in little packs for hands that I can carry with me when I take the bus somewhere or go to a store, etc. Lysol spray, and some spray disinfecting cleaner that I can use to wash down large surfaces with paper towels. The shelves at the supermarket had plenty of stock. Hopefully your supermarket will be restocked soon, because I know companies like Clorox, etc. have greatly jumped up their production to meet demand (unlike our government with non-production of novel coronavirus test kits). Hopefully you will get much better over the weekend and the swelling will go down, too. You may not like to, but consider asking one of your daughters to get some disinfecting supplies for you since you can’t get out right now and go around to different stores looking for them. Or, if there are supermarkets in your area that offer home delivery for a fee, and they have the items you need in stock (call to make sure), that is a possible option. You can order online and would not have to go out to pick your order up. I hope you’ll be up and back on your feet pain free soon.

  13. Guilty!!!!!!
    I think we feel like if we’re giving in,we’re giving up….
    So,we keep on trying and live on ibuprofen.
    Mine is rearranging furniture,I get a wild hair up you know where and my back and hip are yelling,DUMMY,for the next week.

  14. Sitting here right now with a throbbing jaw (TMJ) because I overdid it yesterday, then picked the grandbaby up too much and then came home and ate pork chops (too much chewing) on top of everything. I always think why did I do this again!

  15. Yes, I do that! Trouble is, as we age there is an ever increasing list of things we can’t do anymore. It keeps changing. My shoulder is in bad shape because I lifted a microwave and walked across the room with it.
    I’m glad you stopped trying to do the tiles. One of the hardest things to accept is to let people help you! Think of it as a gift, you don’t want to rob them of the joy they feel in giving you help. Learn to accept graciously, for their sakes.

  16. I’ve been just like you, Brenda, for many many years. And it has taken its toll on my body. Now, at 75, I’m learning that sometimes I just have to admit I can no longer do some of the things I used to do. For the past six weeks I’ve been hobbling around with a heavy knee brace and a cane and waiting to get in to see the orthopedic doctor to see what’s causing the pain and instability in my knee. I didn’t do anything to it but I injured it a couple of years ago and may have twisted it a bit while pulling/pushing around my big tile floor cleaner. I’ll learn … one day. Hopefully you do too. Take care …

  17. Believe me, now I get it.

    But this time my body just doesn’t allow me to overdo things. I was purging in the garage yesterday and I said to myself that I would just finish one more shelf. My body said “no way”. I literally had to stop right then.

    Aging is not for wimps!

  18. I’ve just read a doctor’s report, that Panic is worse than the Virus itself. We have canned food in the pantry, not much more than usual, and dry goods and water, but again, we always have that stuff on hand. Our grocery stores still have plenty of everything on the shelves, hopefully it stays that way. I probably wash my hands hundreds (ok not that often, but alot) of times during the day. Always have done that too. Trying to keep positive…
    I can’t wait to get out to clean my garden area also. I know just how you feel. My old age of 80, has slowed me down some, and if I work in the garden for more than three hours at a time, my back and wrists let me know. I just am happy that I can still do it tho. Spring can’t come soon enough for me. Take care and rest Brenda, Tonight we turn the clocks ahead. Well most of us do, dear husband has already done that today, he likes to get ahead of things (grin) Feel better soon, hugs coming your way. Bonnie in WI

  19. It’s been 3 years since I’ve done any major project, which was for the ORC. Everything got done with no issues. Fast forward to the past two weeks. I painted our kitchen walls, cleaned appliances in and out, washed down the cupboards, cleaned and waxed soapstone countertops and thoroughly cleaned the floor in kitchen, entry and hallway. First time ever I’ve been in excruciating pain everywhere. I guess I was thinking I was still in my 60’s. My right wrist is so bad I couldn’t even lift the mattress this morning to put on clean sheets and somehow did it with my forearm. I’ve been laying around and resting up but I know I won’t be able to take on much like this again.

  20. I know exactly how you feel Brenda, I don’t like to ask for help to do anything I always feel like I’m imposing on someone ! I think the best thing for you is rest. You just have to keep telling yourself that is the best medicine so you can get back to taking care of your furbabies ! I was surprised to hear that there are plenty of cleaning supplies in PA because I live in WV and the shelves in the the stores I go to are empty !

    1. I have looked online for the supplies to make my own, but everywhere I look it is gone and don’t know when they will be replenished. Looked online in Tulsa for hand sanitizer, as we got our first infected, a man in his 50s, and it’s nowhere to be found.

      1. Brenda, same here! I have tried to find a bottle of alcohol … the (rubbing) kind. I checked my grocery stores, CVS, Walgreen, Dollar Tree and Dollar General…..not a bottle to be had. I had some hand sanitizer and Lysol spray, and glad I did, as there none of those to be had. Be car fil and be kind yo yoursel!

  21. oh, my. I certainly misjudge things sometimes…I think independent thinking folks always do that..not wanting to inconvenience or feeling like we are inconveniencing someone..even Family. Rest…Rest…Rest…it will be better..The work will still be there for you or your helper(s)…maybe always think you have two others who depend on you and maybe that will caution you more..I know you are in that mode already. I have six doggies but always stress if something happened to me and husband..who would take care of my furbabies..my daughter has her hands full with our grands..know she would not.. stress stress…I sure hope you get better soon. I hope you have enough tiles..maybe it will all work out…

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